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Carthage coaches, board members say no to drug testing

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WEST CARTHAGE — Coaches at Carthage High School don’t feel the district drug policy needs to be updated.

At the Board of Education meeting Monday, Athletic Director Stephen Nolan said most coaches don’t believe their athletes need to be tested on the district’s dime.

“None of them turn a blind eye to the kids coming to practice,” he said during his report. “They felt it was not an area we needed to spend money on.”

At the May 20 board meeting, a parents stated she believes marijuana is a problem on several sports teams. Since then, the board has looked into the possibility of having students involved in extracurricular activities take a drug test.

However, Mr. Nolan said a lot of coaches agreed that the code of conduct was a good policy to go by.

“Some coaches even went so far as to say, ‘You can test the kids. You can test me. I don’t think we have as big of a problem as some may believe we have,’” he said. “They support the idea as long as it can be unilaterally done.”

Mr. Turner said Carthage Area Hospital has expressed interest in assisting the school with the tests and asked whether the board feels it should go through with testing athletes in the future.

The board, however, said the decision should be made by the parents, not the district.

“I’m not sure we, as the school, need to be involved,” said board member Mary Louise Hunt.

Board member Kent D. Burto agreed.

Mrs. Hunt liked the idea of sending letters to parents letting them know they could have their children take a drug test at the area hospital if they suspect a problem.

Board member Anne M. Rohr said parents should contact coaches if their child talks about others on the team with a drug problem.

“If a kid tells their parents that so-and-so is doing something, then that parent should go talk with the coach,” she said. “It shouldn’t just be the kid.”

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